The “things” that contribute to happiness cannot be wrapped and tied with bows.
Ironically, these are the very things we take for granted.
Around Christmas, marketers hope that we get caught up in the deftly executed ad campaigns. Some unwittingly fall into the trap of overindulging and overspending. Others turn themselves inside out to find the perfect gift to make loved ones happy.
How silly – happiness can’t be purchased. It’s in our heads (and hearts.)
We have a budget for Christmas, and our kids’ requests often fall outside of that budget. So, instead of their dream gift, they get a lesson in handling disappointment. Sometimes, though, they are pleasantly surprised.
We let our kids each pick a gift to open early. My older son tore through the paper on the box and tossed the packing material aside. He examined the bubble-wrapped object in his hand and said, “Oh. It’s an ornament.”
He thought we got him a new phone. He’s twelve- and delusional, it seems.
My younger son ripped the paper from his box and squealed with delight when he saw the game Apples to Apples. “How did you guys know? I love this game!”
Now, that reaction made me smile. A couple months ago, he begged me to buy that game for him because he’d played it at school. I listened (and surprisingly, remembered.)
My kids ‘ reactions illustrate how expectations can lead to disappointment when actuality doesn’t live up to our anticipation. Sure, we could go into debt and “wow” my older son with a phone, but I think the greater gift is to learn true happiness can’t be found inside a box under the tree.
Some people never learn this and spend their lives filling the void with “things.”
On Sunday evening, we played Apples to Apples as a family. Even my older son (who had proclaimed the game as “stupid”) eventually joined in. We spent time together- interacting and laughing. We had fun.
We found happiness in each other’s company.
For those who celebrate Christmas – I wish you a merry one. For those who do not – I wish you happiness. “See” you after the new year 🙂